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Only days ago I was consoling Tasia for her finger burn and now I succeeded to get the machine sewing needle through my left hand’s index nail! I’ve had other “adventures” before, but never including a nail! It looks like I’m going to survive this one and I thought it’s a good time to really scare other sewers out there so that this doesn’t happen to them – for that best would have been pictures but I’ll resist the temptation;) Feel free to contribute with other scary stories, advice, or just to tell me what a fool I am! I certainly feel like one! We often talk about and admire the good part of sewing- our finished projects and things we learn (without hurting ourselves) but if you’re new to sewing keep in mind that your new best friend can become your enemy! And if you’re not new I would be delighted to find out you never dealt with any injury! I know when we buy a sewing machine we go quickly through the safety measures, like “of course, they had to put that in a manual or of course, I’m not that silly” but… I was!


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    Dec 25, 2010, 01.56 PMby magdamagda

    I was undecided if to put this topic in “someone help me” or “skill tank” section! As this is not an emergency room I chose “skill tank”, to make me feel better abt my skills!

    When I was in 1st standard the teacher caught me and another 2 classmates eating during classes… It was unexpected of me so she told me to stand up and tell everyone why we shouldn’t eat in class:D And I did a fine job, making it hard to believe I could have ever eaten in class! Today I tell you beware of sewing injuries like the finger is not pointing at me (oh, my index!) :D


    2 Replies
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      Dec 26, 2010, 02.15 AMby katexxxxxx

      Haven’t yet chopped a finger with the serger, but I have sewn my hair! I now keep it well tied up out of the way… :D

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      Dec 28, 2010, 12.08 PMby magdamagda

      That’s encouraging:) I mean it’s great news that sewing can be done for so many years with no misfortunes! I guess I must have a special talent;) In the meantime I forgot anything happened to my finger, it forgave me and feels fine looks fine! Now hair I never tried…

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    Dec 26, 2010, 04.49 AMby sewingqueen-1

    The first injury I had was with an industrial sewing machine. I was putting piping on a cushion and concentrating so hard on making sure that it was tight, that I neglected to notice that the end of my finger was in the way! I sewed right through the tip of my finger and the nail!! Lucky for me, my nails were a bit long and I only nicked my finger – my biggest concern was not getting blood on the fabric.

    1 Reply
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      Dec 26, 2010, 08.15 AMby magdamagda

      I’m so sorry to hear that:( I hope your finger recovered fast…

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    Dec 26, 2010, 07.49 AMby mixtlii

    Oh my God this is horrible!!! I thought the needle would break on a nail…

    1 Reply
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      Dec 26, 2010, 08.27 AMby magdamagda

      It’s not that bad, it did not hurt, but I was shocked!! Good thing I immediately pulled up the needle to retract my finger. The nail cracked like plastic for 3 mms and there was a drop of red – we know what that is. I am using it just fine, doesn’t hurt and I dont keep it wrapped in bandaids either – I’ll have to wait abt 2 weeks for nail to grow…

      They should have a First Aid Kit for this holiday giveway for me (still feeling so not proud of myself that I can’t resist more self-sarcastic-jokes!:|)

  • Missing

    Dec 26, 2010, 10.22 AMby wackyblonde

    So sorry for your injury, to both your pride and your finger. I did the exact same thing with my first (and last) factory sewing job. Ran the needle straight through my left index finger, nail and all, it really hurt. The worst part was having to back the needle out. Needless to say I was promptly fired. I have also cut chunks off my hair while cutting out patterns (that is just silly and my not paying attention). I now keep my hair pulled up and out of the way.

    1 Reply
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      Dec 26, 2010, 11.08 AMby magdamagda

      Oh my pride has suffered in the past also (but never like this) now I thought I’d make it public so that I don’t forget! Best thing would be to put a pic of the finger near my sewing machine…

      I am so sorry for you, what happened to you sounds a lot worse… plus on top of that being fired.. I hope it worked out best for you eventually… and I hope you had many safe happy sewing moments since!! And I wish you many more happy moments to come, I saw santa brought you a new dressform, amazing Santa, send him my way! :)

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    Dec 28, 2010, 03.31 PMby anajan

    Ouch! I usually stick pins under my nails while sewing, and it hurts like hell :-\. I had a funny accident once – the thread take-up hit me to my forehead while I was leaning towards the machine to see better the stitch :). It wasn’t painful, but I jumped from the chair like a cat, surprised and frightened at the same time.

    1 Reply
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      Dec 28, 2010, 03.46 PMby magdamagda

      Oh pins yes done that! Thanks for the link, I saw what thread take-up is, glad it doesnt come out much at my sewing machine, otherwise who knows what it would do to me!

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    Dec 30, 2010, 07.24 PMby peach

    I’ve had the same thing happen to me only after the needle broke off in my index finger it went back in and another piece broke off in it again. And all because I was allowed my attention to be temporarily distracted. I am fortunate to not have any evidence on my finger of that incident ever happening but, I learned my lesson from that point on when ever sewing I always take my foot clear away from the foot pedal and hand away from the needle before acknowledging someone talking to me.

    1 Reply
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      Dec 31, 2010, 07.56 PMby wackyblonde

      Ouch…that hurt just reading your post.

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    Dec 31, 2010, 08.05 PMby peach

    Funny though I didn’t feel a thing and surprisingly taking tweezers and pulling them out didn’t hurt either. It just gave me a good scare for the moment enough to pay better attention and I haven’t had an accident since.

    1 Reply
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      Jan 13, 2011, 04.09 AMby magdamagda

      Sorry to hear abt your adventures… In the meantime my finger also got to look like new… and yes I’d like to think I’m paying a lil extra attention now to those details that make the difference… whether it hurts or not, one thing is sure: I wouldn’t want to have to stop sewing even for a few days:) not that I sew every day, but if something prevents me from doing it, I’ll really want to sew!

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    Jan 23, 2011, 09.04 AMby redscootergirl

    I’ve been sewing again for the past 6 months, and in that time have had 3 sewing injuries! I never knew that sewing could be so dangerous – or that I could be so klutzy!

    The first was when I sliced a corner off my finger using a rotary cutter – all healed now with just a slight scar. I bought a safety glove after that and make sure I always use it.

    The second was when the roll of pattern drafting paper (about 10kg ) rolled off the table onto my foot – ouch! Luckily it landed on my actual foot and not my toes, so I just had some lovely bruising.

    Third (and hopefully final) was when I knocked the iron over and it landed on the inside of my arm – I have a wonderfuly triangular shaped scar from that one.

    Friends tease me and tell me that I shoudl take up a ‘safe’ hobby!

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    Jan 23, 2011, 10.18 PMby lalaleyownee

    Just a couple of days ago I was finishing off a pinafore. The light on my sewing machine as recently burnt out, and seeing that it is a Husqvarna (built like a tank), I haven’t gone out to buy a new bulb. Instead, I foolishly kept on sewing.

    And sent a needle clear through my right index finger. It broke on the other side, and was kind enough to take the purple thread I was stitching right along with it. I had to pull the broken put of needle off the thread, pull the thread back through my finger, and then pull the needle outwith the machine since my finger was pinned. Still finished the pinafore though. ; )

  • Missing

    Jan 24, 2011, 05.54 AMby sassitudes

    I’ve not had the pleasure of a needle through the finger yet. :-) But I hacked off a decent amount of my left index finger (including nail) with a rotary while making a vintage apron about a year ago. Hope your finger heals fast!

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    Jan 24, 2011, 06.26 AMby sew4my3

    I too have had the needle through the finger. I was seven years old and sewing doll clothes on my grandmothers old sewing machine. Small little fingers slide right under the foot as easily as thick fabric. In order to free myself from the machine I had to cut the thread and my grandmother had to use tweezers to remove the stitches that went into the nail bed. Ouch!!

    2nd story- This was several years ago, while using my new rotary cutter and cutting white fabric. I had the fabric all lined up and was going at a pretty fast pace when I started seeing red on my crisp white fabric. Oh the thoughts that ran through my head in such little time! “Did I buy this fabric like that? Did I ruin it in the laundry? and then OMG! I cut the area between my thumb and index finger!” Off to the emergency room for stitches and an embarrassing phone call to my husband at work. Another sewing accident!!!

    3rd story- DO NOT SEW OVER YOUR PINS! I was taught this at a very young age and then again in the many classes I have taken over the years. Why oh why did I not listen? I was in a hurry to finish an Easter dress for one of my daughters and just felt like leaving the pins in and sewing over them was quicker. Big mistake! When sewing over one of these lovely little sharp objects the machine needle and the pin lined up just perfect to snap them both. This sent the pieces flying and one hitting me directly in my right eye. Lucky for me the damage was minimal and required eye drops and an eye patch for a couple of weeks and I did not lose any eyesight. Whew, that one was close! However, I do get a eye twitch every time I have accidently sewn over a pin or close to it.

    Anyway, lessons learned! I hope you have healed well since your ordeal and are back to sewing. Let’s all try to be more careful! Got to keep sewing with a smile!

  • Missing

    Jan 24, 2011, 08.23 PMby patsewing

    I often stick pins in my fingers enough to make them bleed – so I keep a few bandaids and a pack of wet wipes in my sewing draw. The bandaid stops the blood going on your fabric and any blood that is already on your fabric can be cleaned off with the wet wipe.

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    Jan 26, 2011, 12.03 AMby katexxxxxx

    Flying melted plastic, just last week. I bear the mark…

    Needed to do a burn test to see if the fabric had polyester in it. Yup. Burned nicely, with pong of plastic and made nice drippy little melted poly balls. Stupidly, I tried to blow the flame out! bit flew up and hit me in the forehead! I now have a small burn mark like an extra pink freckle just above my right eyebrow!

    Doh! You’d think with my experience I’d have more sense!

    1 Reply
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      Apr 24, 2011, 04.35 PMby lclausewitz

      At least you didn’t try to put out the flame by waving the fabric scrap around!

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    Jan 26, 2011, 12.01 PMby sewingfan1

    I feel ill after reading all these. Had no idea sewing could be such a risky business!

    1 Reply
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      Jan 27, 2011, 12.48 AMby katexxxxxx

      Look, they are RARE! I’ve ben sewing for slightly more than 50 years. My list in all that time is:

      Sewing machine needle through finger: 0
      Sewing machine needle chunk hitting specs: 3
      Hacking lump out of finger: 1
      Plastic burn: 1
      Rotary cutter injury: 0

      Keep a first aid box in the sewing room and stop worrying! ;)

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    Jan 27, 2011, 11.19 AMby sewingfan1

    I’ve been sewing on and off for 20years and had 0 injuries so you’re right, it’d be pretty silly to start stressing now. :-) I just hadn’t even given it a thought until I read these that things could get nasty if I wasn’t careful.

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    Apr 22, 2011, 10.55 PMby charlana41

    Rotary cutter at 3am, all I can say is BAD idea, but what do you do you only have so much time (three days before competition and 13 skating dresses to go) and it is so much quicker than scissors.

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    Jun 1, 2011, 04.16 PMby Nicole Nolan

    Most of my injuries have involved pinning. Smoothing out fabric and forgetting there were pins, facing my hand direction, using too much pressure to push a hand sewing needle through thick fabric and embedding it in my finger (this was 2 days ago… no small prick- it bled for over an hour!) and ripping part of my fingernail off while using it to push a needle through 4 layers of embroidered fabric while on the bus, and the bus hit a bump. Silly. I’ve also been scratched by flying broken needles, and have pricked my tongue on pins a few times. Thankfully I haven’t swallowed any!

    3 Replies
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      Jun 1, 2011, 04.53 PMby sewingfan1

      Yak, they all sound nasty!

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      Jun 22, 2011, 07.34 AMby Phamburger

      How do you prick your tongue with pins? Haha, but I get you! Pins are dangerous…

    • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

      Jun 22, 2011, 07.46 AMby katexxxxxx

      You mean you DON’T hold pins between you lips while pinning things? Oh…


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    Jun 22, 2011, 04.34 PMby dnembhard

    I remember when I was in university, one of my classmates sewed through her finger. The needle broke off and she had to go to the hospital. I saw her years later, and we had a good laugh about it. I had a near miss once when a needle went flying whilst I was sewing. Luckily, I was wearing my glasses that day, and that’s all it hit….. More seriously, one of my students swallowed a pin the other day. I always lecture them at the beginning of the year about not storing pins in their mouth, and tell them a story that happened to another student (told to me by their teacher). Unfortunately, I have my own story now. I was away when it happened, and I know she did go to the hospital. I think she’s okay (I’m still off work), and is more embarrassed than hurt.

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    Jun 27, 2011, 07.04 PMby jenss-1

    My grandmother sewed up her finger on one of those old treadle machines and could never fully bend it again. She was probably distracted by the treadle action. (Beware of vintage; looks cute but can have dangers).

    As for me, before I owned an ironing board I would do my pressing on a layer of towels on either a futon or the floor. One day I stupidly and momentarily forgot about the iron being on the floor and backed into it. Hurt like hell and I had a faint iron mark on the back of my calf for years. (I recommend Muji’s compact full-height ironing board for cramped apartment dwellers).

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    Jul 24, 2011, 04.31 PMby gedwoods

    I read these posts some time back, and remember feeling mystified as to how one could get a sewing machine needle through one’s finger… and then, this week, it happened to me! It was the result of carelessness, of course. I have been doing a whole slew of similar seams, some with a zipper present and some without. Out of laziness, I have simply used my zipper foot for all these seams, rather than taking the time to change back to the regular foot whenever I’m doing a regular seam. The problem, as I discovered, is that the regular foot acts as a barrier to getting the finger underneath the needle. I was pushing the fabric through the needle and straightening out a small bubble, not paying any attention, and the needle engaged with my thumb tip! The needle broke and I was able to fish it out (about 5 mm long) of my thumb, but it was painful and messy! Now I know why my teacher used a screwdriver to feed the fabric to the sewing foot assembly rather than using her fingers! I won’t make that mistake again any time soon!

    1 Reply
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      Jul 24, 2011, 05.35 PMby katexxxxxx

      Ouchies! I’ve ALMOST done it several times recently, through beiing in a hurry. Fingers are crossed that it ain’t my turn yet!

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    Jul 25, 2011, 10.58 PMby gentlegemdesignes

    I sewed through my finger and into the nail bed once. It hurt like crazy for a week but i didnt give up making baby stuff for my daugther. It taught me to never look up from my sewing. :D

  • Missing

    Sep 18, 2011, 07.55 PMby anappleandacello

    Nothing too bad has happened to me yet, but once I when I was even less experience than I am now, I tried to sew a zigzag stitch with a foot designed only to sew straight stitches. The needle immediately hit the metal part of the foot, made a tiny little dent, and broke. Luckily, it only hit my forehead. (I was at home alone at the time.) Now I know to check the foot before I sew.

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    Oct 19, 2011, 02.53 AMby fashionqueen920

    i recently did the exact same thing! although i have been sewing for the past 11 years, i just started sewing with industrial sewing machines for my fashion design program. so with little experience on these machine and having stayed up all night the night before, I sewed straight through my right index finger. Its been a little over a month now, and i still have a weird mark on my nail from where the needle went through but its fine!

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    Oct 19, 2011, 08.40 AMby pambox

    i’m kind of terrified of going near my machine after reading these stories! i haven’t sewn through my fingers, i’ve drawn blood regularly through getting pins in my fingers, but it’s only ever a tiny drop of blood. the worst sewing injury i’ve had is ironing my knuckles once when trying to hold the fabric so i could iron the seams flat. but the scar disappeared in a matter of weeks from that.

  • Missing

    Oct 20, 2011, 02.27 PMby mickeygirl

    aside from sewing the odd finger — I find that sometimes my back or neck will hurt if I am doing sewing for extended periods of time. Makes you think about the table and chair height that you are using and posture.

    The only other problem is with using pins and sewing over them. If the needle hits the pin and it breaks sometimes pieces go flying. I have heard of paranoid parents insisting that their kids wear safety glasses when learning to sew.

    There are some types of guards that can be used on sewing machines and sergers.

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    Feb 23, 2012, 07.38 AMby TabithaFoxx

    I actually got my hair stuck in the take up leaver from hovering over it! teaches me for having bad posture. hubby had to rescue me from it ! Also, the last time i put the needle through my nail bed i cursed over a broken needle before going " oh… im bleeding.." my injury list is embarassing and definitely would not want to write a list! Im a bit of a klutz.

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    Feb 24, 2012, 12.34 AMby cambra

    In college, there was a girl who got her hair caught in a serger, no fun at all!


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    Feb 24, 2012, 02.25 AMby harrietbazley

    I managed to shut my finger in the hinge between the head and base of the Gift Horse after opening it up to oil underneath… the weight got away from me as I was lowering it back down and I didn’t quite whip my hand out in time. Given that it’s at least 20lb of metal casting, I had a bruise on the nail for a while…. quite an achievement to injure yourself on a machine when it isn’t even sewing I suppose!

  • Missing

    Mar 19, 2012, 04.13 AMby arisaid

    Stupidest thing I ever did was to SWALLOW a plastic head pin! Was getting hassled by daughter to finish a top for her to wear. Ended up at hospital, x-rays etc. Finally saw a Dr after a number of hours (it was New Year’s Eve!) who said go home and forget about it. He had worked in a prison and said that prisoners were always swallowing stuff and not to worry. Never had any trouble from it. Must admit I don’t put pins in my mouth anymore though.

  • Missing

    Mar 25, 2012, 12.28 PMby Elle77

    Using sewing machine is easy but need an extra care because any time your finger will be hit. When you are using this it is better to be attentive any time until you finish your task.

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